Top financial institutions have concluded that while most businesses were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses within the personal care and retail sectors will have a longer path to recovery than most, having seen a 45% decrease in revenue in 2020. Following the success of the LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund, which dispersed nearly $100 million in grants last year to small businesses and nonprofits, the fund will dedicate $4.7 million dollars to small businesses in the personal care and retail sector. Eligible businesses within Los Angeles County can apply for a $10,000 grant during the following application periods: April 5–11 or April 26–May 2 at lacovidfund.org/application. Businesses need only apply once.
The Keep Our Shops on the Block Grant was created as a targeted intervention for businesses in the personal care and retail sectors with under $1 million in revenue. To be eligible, business applicants must be in current operation, have an open storefront within L.A. County (excludes the City of Los Angeles) and documentation of financial hardships as a result of COVID-19. Eligible small businesses include: hair and beauty salons, nail salons, estheticians, skin care, barbershops, dry cleaners, bakeries, automotive stores and more.
“Main Streets across L.A. County have experienced a sharp decline in pedestrian traffic throughout the pandemic,” said Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs Director Rafael Carbajal. “We hope to revive these corridors by supporting retail and personal care sectors.”
The County of Los Angeles has chosen Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles (LISC LA) to serve as the program administrator.
“While some cities have launched funds dedicated to personal care and retail businesses, this program marks the first county-wide effort to distribute a grant dedicated to brick and mortar businesses in these sectors,” says Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, executive director of LISC LA. “LISC LA anticipates many of these grants will be used to drive business back to storefronts as the county continues to lift COVID-19 restrictions.”
The grant application portal opened on Monday and will close on Sunday, April 11 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Apply at lacovidfund.org/application or call (833) 238-4450.